Dunkin’ Drops the Donuts from its Branding

What’s the importance of a brand name? Brands have value. Brands help to define a company, its values and products, and branding builds an image in the minds of consumers. If a consumer hears “Nike,” or “North Face,” or “Luluemon” it immediate builds a picture in the consumer’s mind of that brand. So, when an established company undertakes rebranding, it had better be prepared for a lot of work and time to establish the new brand. The rebranding can be incredibly expensive and risky.

The latest rebranding is a move from “Dunkin’ Donuts” to just “Dunkin’.” The company claims that it has been on a first-name basis with its fan for a long time, and that its customers have long referred to the brand as Dunkin’, making this a natural fit. The original pink and orange colors of the logo, along with the original font, have been retained in the new logo, helping to retain the brand recognition.

Dropping the “Donuts” raises the question about whether Dunkin’ will be moving away from its core product in favor of a newer food menu (croissants, bagels?). The company claims that donuts are still a key focus for Dunkin’.

Dunkin’ isn’t the only brand to shorten its name. Recently, Weight Watchers shortened its name to WW, using the tagline “Wellness that Works” to help explain the rebranding. And, many people still erroneously refer to Kentucky Fried Chicken with its full name, even though it became KFC in the early 1990s.

It’s hard to change consumers’ habits.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of branding.
  2. Using the Top 100 Global Brands list as reference, poll students about the top 10 global brands: https://www.interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2018/ranking/.
  3. Which brands do they think have been able to gain mind share? How?
  4. View the Dunkin’ Donuts web site: https://www.dunkindonuts.com/en
  5. What should the company do to roll out the new brand standards to consumers?

Source:  Advertising Age, New York Times, other news sources



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